Letter to the editor – Trump and the sub-continent

Daily Excelsior

Sir,
Apropos Betab’s write-up “Trump, India and Pakistan” (DE 8 Feb), we have a pragmatic and emotionless analysis of triangular relationship and strategy in the strife-torn subcontinent. Accepting the axiomatic verdict of history that in politics, there are no friends and no foes but only interests, we in India should learn to be more pragmatic and not visionary. Pakistan led by the thugs in olive-green is and shall remain a reality. The US does not and cannot wish its dismemberment. Therefore, India must think twice whether refusing to talk to the Pak military hardliners via Track II diplomacy is tactically advisable. She should try to capitalize on the recent rebuff of OIC and the EU to Pakistan, and Trump’s downgrading of Kashmir narrative during Imran’s visit to Washington. This Track, somewhat non-conventional, could become the instrument of stabilizing ‘as is where is’ status in J&K (minor re-adjustments stipulated) on permanent basis. The time is ripe now when there is widespread discontent in PoK and G-B against Pakistan and India, after the disabling of special status of J&K, has made a commitment of unprecedented economic development package for J&K via ‘Investors’ Summit” likely to meet in May.

While configurating his re-election strategy, Trump has to understand that unlocking of Kashmir logjam provides both Pakistan and the US more space for conducting Taliban narrative with the ease of maximising options. Washington’s focus should be on bringing home to Pakistan that its decades-old pathological animus with India has not only psychologically isolated her in the comity of nations but has, in ultimate analysis, dragged her to the brink of economic-financial disaster. Washington has to make Islamabad understand the positive aspects of good relations with India in terms of unlocking the logjam of trade potential with India. However, the type of resilient olive-green leadership in Pakistan that could envision the country’s long range interests is yet to emerge.
This is perhaps the noticeable outcome of excellent analysis of Betab of the subject in hand.
K.N. Pandita

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